Euan McGrory: Edinburgh’s tourism boom needs to be properly managed

The Fringe continues to grow
The Fringe continues to grow
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Regular visitors to the city centre will find no surprises in the latest report on the impact of growing festival crowds.

Princes Street struggles to cope with the number of people who try to squeeze down it at the busiest times of day in the middle of August and at the height of the winter festivities. Ditto the Royal Mile where drivers neeed to keep their wits about them for fear of pedestrians suddenly stepping out in front of them. The festivals can get pretty noisy, even late at night, and some residents are fed up with all the fireworks, buskers, tour parties and so on.

None of these problems are new - they come up every festival, although growing visitor numbers mean they are on the rise. The biggest surprise is seeing them so frankly addressed in an official report. And not before time.

Our tourism industry is key to much of what makes Edinburgh such a great place to live. It is vital to our economy, supporting an estimated 35,000 jobs, and the reason many of the things we all value - great restaurants, firstclass entertainment and attractions, a thriving shopping centre - thrive. Making sure these pinch points are well managed is in all our interests.